How to Concentrate and Get Things Done.

ruth crilly panda

I’m becoming something of an expert at “getting things done”. Setting myself goals and then simply doing what I need to do to get them ticked off the list. The key to this “getting things done” business seems to be to remove all distractions from one’s vicinity. Take your phone and put it downstairs, preferably in a drawer and with the ringer turned off. Disconnect your internet so that you can’t waste time on Twitter and Facebook. Tell your nearest and dearest that from 5pm until 7pm (or whenever) you are NOT to be disturbed. Give yourself small and achievable goals on a daily basis rather than panicking about the bigger picture all the time.

I’ve been quite inspired by a book called The One Thing  – see link below – in which the author urges us to decide what our “One Thing” is and devote a set amount of time to it every day. Uninterrupted time spent only doing your “One Thing”. For me, at the moment, it’s getting the first three chapters of my novel written for my MA final. After that, it’ll be finishing my dissertation. Just “one thing” for three or four hours every day, and the rest of the time can be spent as you wish. IT’S A BLOODY REVELATION! I’M GETTING SO MUCH DONE! I know that it all sounds obvious, but what I used to do was try to do everything at once, all day long. And that simply doesn’t work. Blocking off chunks of your day so that you do one thing at a time, and do it well: that works.

Other best thing for “getting things done”? The Freedom App (again, see below) or, as recommended to me since I talked about the Freedom App, the Self Control app. Takes your computer offline for a set amount of time or, if you need to be connected to the internet, you can block social networking sites so that you’re not tempted to chat. Hurrah!

Please do give this video a watch if you can – for some reason, sensible and informative videos never seem to get so many views on Youtube. I should stick a clip of the cat falling in the bath at the beginning, that’d get them watching… Anyway, it’s full of useful tips, I hope, so please take a look. If you’re reading on email then you’ll need to click here.

The book “The One Thing” is here:
Alpine Earplugs are here:
My top is an old one from Maje
Makeup is Hourglass foundation and Avon eyeshadow/mascara/blush.
Freedom app is here:

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  1. Rosie
    August 8, 2013 / 7:38 am

    Thanks, Ruth! I’m in Australia so my uni work is in full swing and this was perfect timing! Now to finally get something done…
    You look gorgeous here, by the way! x

  2. Dani
    August 8, 2013 / 11:41 am

    Funny thing I found this post while procrastinating.

    • Rosie
      August 8, 2013 / 1:33 pm

      Haha me too! At least it was productive?

  3. August 8, 2013 / 12:58 pm

    Thanks for the post! I need to try this one someday. I also had a big problem with getting things done lately. Just as you I was trying to do all my work at once and it was total disaster – it ended up on working all day long + some part of night. Then I found a book about GTD methodology. This seemed to me cool so I tried to implement this in my life with Evernote method. It was a bit difficult to change the way I thougt about doing things but I made it. Now I use SmartTM app for iPad and this is better than ever :) Finally I have time to do what I actually love :)

  4. Arielle Yeap
    August 8, 2013 / 4:32 pm

    I’m glad you’ve found your revelation – we all know how you’ve been procrastinating w/ your dissertation stuff! Hehee <3

  5. R
    August 8, 2013 / 4:40 pm

    What’s the panda for?!

    • RuthCrilly
      August 15, 2013 / 12:15 pm

      No idea. Just one more distraction! ; )

  6. August 9, 2013 / 12:26 am

    So many helpful tips, Ruth! I’ve been plugging away at my dissertation all summer, so I can use all the time management advice I can get :) Good luck with all of your work! xo

  7. August 9, 2013 / 6:22 pm

    Hi Ruth, thanks for the video :) I’m currently studying for deferred exams and hitting a bit of a brick wall so this is just the motivation I needed (although I wish somebody somewhere could make a video about how to make Equity and Trust Law interesting)! Good luck with the rest of your MA work!

  8. Sami
    August 10, 2013 / 10:47 am

    Great tips! I find it so hard to concentrate, espcially when my iPhone is right next to me!!

  9. August 12, 2013 / 3:15 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the book. Skimming is de rigueur with business books, for sure. I would definitely recommend dipping into the section on protesting your time block and the 4 thieves. They appeal to the pragmatic readers in my experience. Good luck with your ONE Thing!

    • RuthCrilly
      August 15, 2013 / 12:15 pm

      Thank you Jay, I am doing a more thorough read this week! x

  10. thebeautyobsession
    August 12, 2013 / 4:50 pm

    Thanks for a brilliant post. Time management and organisation is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately as I also have a ridiculous amount of different commitments. Going to download the freedom app and dig out the One Thing. Quick question, do you know if you can use the app on PC as well as iPad? If not I am going to start turning the iPad off and hiding it!!

    • RuthCrilly
      August 15, 2013 / 12:14 pm

      Don’t think it works on iPad? Lte me know! It’s for Mac and PC computers x

  11. August 13, 2013 / 8:28 pm

    Thank you for these awesome tips! Coming from you they must work, you seem to have a 48 hour day. ;)

  12. fran
    August 13, 2013 / 8:44 pm

    hey ruth,
    love your tips.
    is there any Chance your glases are from colibis?
    (I’m wearing the model Paul)
    Keep going,
    greetins form Germany

    • RuthCrilly
      August 15, 2013 / 12:14 pm

      They are Cutler and Gross xx

  13. Eilidh
    August 19, 2013 / 1:12 am

    Hi Ruth, do you have any tips on foods to eat for concentration/good snacks to take to the library?

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